Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012 AT 6:50 PM / Updated at 7:05 PM
Practice report: Offense ready to bounce back after UCLA loss
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

Offensive coordinator Tim Beck said his unit has responded well this week after finishing last Saturday’s game against UCLA on a sour note.

The Huskers went without a touchdown after halftime against the Bruins. They couldn’t hide their disappointment after the game, and even during morning news conferences Monday, too. The loss hurt. Big time.

But so far, so good on the practice field this week. The players have moved on, according to Beck.

Said Beck after Tuesday’s practice: “I thought we had a very spirited practice. Very upbeat. Guys worked hard. I was pleased with our tempo and our (attention to) detail.”

>> Rex Burkhead update? Beck says ask the trainers. … Sophomores Ameer Abdullah and Braylon Heard did well in his place Saturday, Beck said.

>> Quarterback Taylor Martinez moved a little too fast as he tried to direct Nebraska’s offense late in the second half of that 36-30 loss to UCLA, according to Beck. Here’s what was missing, in Beck’s words: “Depth in his drops, his patience in the pocket, his ability to go from read to read, and not skip reads. He hurried himself back there.”

>> Sophomore Brion Carnes said he’s moved from quarterback to wide receiver this week. He’s also working on his ability to return punts. The position switch was Carnes’ idea, he said. “Anything to help the team.” (Carnes was not one of three Husker QBs who traveled to UCLA)

>> Looking back, Beck said UCLA’s defense had more overall speed than any Nebraska opponent over the last few years, except maybe South Carolina.

>> Arkansas State will blitz a lot, Beck said. He complimented the Red Wolves’ speed and aggressiveness. He also mentioned a defensive tackle — just not by name, though. Presumably, Beck’s talking about 6-foot-2, 310-pound junior Ryan Carrethers, who’s second on the team with 14 tackles.

About Jon Nyatawa

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008. He and his laptop, cell phone, tape recorder, pen and notebook all live in Lincoln. Follow him on Twitter: @JonNyatawa. Email him here: He welcomes feedback.


  1. barney says:

    Speed kills and we r now seeing just ho bad the recruiting has been. If you take away the top recruits that left the program this staff HaS no classes in top 30…interesting we r not ranked…coincidence..every major news agency is talking about how we have zero speed no coach can fix that other than new athletes

    1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

      This is correct

  2. redark says:

    Hope to see Mr Heard get a few more carries and remain in the game for a series so he can get into a rythym that running backs require. He appears to have some explosiveness but is jerked off the field about the time he gets warmed up.
    Maybe try putting 20 lbs on Carnes during the off season and make him a fast linebacker. He will never see the field as a reciever.

    1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

      Well said

  3. j gady says:

    as far as i’m concerned bad play calling,cost as much of that lose as the defense. in the 2nd half we were moving the ball on the ground. Heard looks like tail-backs of old,he’s fast and runs hard. between him and the other 2 running backs they could move the chains. when Beck took over as OC he said one change would be “we will keep running it until they can stop us”. he got too cute calling plays instead of stayng with what was working.

  4. CLHusker says:

    Moving Carnes to WR is another pathetic move by this staff to look like it is doing something and then we see that it was Carnes’ idea. Who is in charge? Why move someone with speed to one of our deepest positions. He will never see the field.

  5. joey says:

    speed won’t matter!!! Because NU will still have a coaching staff of KNUCKLEHEADS that can’t coach. Because they have NO IDEA what they are doing. 1. Barney 2. Beck 3. John P 4. The new DL coach 5. BO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. joey says:

    I still can’t get over the chance NU fighting to make a bowl game this season. Sorry after what I seen. I see NU losing to Wisc, OSU, Northwestern (again), Mich, and Mich St as well. I pray I’m wrong. If not? BO and his staff will ALL be out of jobs by the seasons end. ANYTHING is better than 4 more years of a worthless coaching staff we have right now.

  7. GA4NU says:

    I agree with speed and recruit issues, however taking a closer look at the UCLA game really reveals the main issues that must be resolved.
    First, we all know the high paced, no-huddle offense was created to wear down defenses. The key to that success is two-fold – first down yards and third down conversions. NU averaged only 5.3 yards on first down, and converted only 1 of 11 third downs. The end result is time of possession. For the entire game, the Blackshirts were on the field for almost 63% of the time. UCLA defenders saw the field for the remaining 37% of the game. UCLA ran 94 offensive plays compared to NU’s 67. UCLA averaged 8.6 yards on first down, and converted 9 of 20 third downs. The plan succeeded; the defense was worn down, only it was the Blackshirts. IMO, the offense can effectively run every play in Beck’s playbook after they huddle up. Obviously, the offense isn’t catching anyone off-guard.
    There are valuable lessons to learn from this game; although the lessons should have been learned by watching any Husker game prior to Coach Beck’s scheme.
    Remember the message that scrolled across the old scoreboard in Memorial Stadium when the Huskers of old started a drive – “Truckin’ South”!

  8. KansaHusker says:

    I will not get into my field of expertise for giving the comment i’m about give.To counter speed you need physical play and discipline.But what i’ve seen is neither, and that you place directly on the coaches.Even BTN commentators noticed what i’ve said.They also notice that BO’s last two years have been on a downward trend.As far as i’m concerned if we do not have a ten win season based on BO’s start of season talk about how much better this years team is then if not BO must GO. I for one am tired of his excuses and no results.

  9. Skers5xs says:

    How is moving Carnes to WR a pathetic movie? He wasn’t going to see the field as a QB!!!!! At least WR gives him a better chance to see the field.

  10. Jeff_Georgia says:

    Funny Beck didn’t mention an OL that couldn’t block my sister. Or his own questionable play calling in the 2nd half. Why abandon the run? Where was Cross? I’m all for giving the FB a few carries a game as that give opponents another thing to plan for, but if the only time you hand the FB the ball is on third and one, the defense is going to key on him – that isn’t even Football 101 – more like Football 0.5…

    1. Ginger says:

      I felt like I was watching a practice section not a game saturday. I am sorry I don’t like Beck’s play calling about 1/2 of the time and O line sucks, Cotton. We have the talent to be a very good team but our coaching staff is not seeing this. Why can’t we play the kids to their ability not what the coachs want. Bo hopefully will get the speed in the secondary where it is needed and PLEASE teach these kids about tackeling. People remember these are kids and they are only as good as their teacher so put the blame where it belongs. Stay a fan but stop hammaring on the kids give the coachs HELL.

  11. MikeG says:

    It seems as if Bo is worried so much about who “knows” the most about the system that he doesnt realize there are more players with better skills available to him. He seems to favor a slower LB, a few slower DB’s, a QB who still panics when things get tough, and a DLine that isnt aggressive even though he has players who are better suited for the positions even if they havent mastered the concepts of his system yet. Bo actually said the smartest thing last year but he didnt listen to his own advice. He said, “Maybe we have overcoached them to the point they were undecisive”. He is right but continues to do it. They are playing so much with their brains that they arent utilizing the talents they have naturally.

  12. socalhusker says:

    I put this game on the coaches. Where are the halftime adjustments. Half back wheel routes and slot receiver slants–we’ve seen it before and it calls for the peso.The MLB cannot be asked to stay with the fastest guy in their backfield down the sideline. Maybe once, because they catch us in the wrong defense, but after that is inexcusable. If the that’s the only defense they thought would work, they needed to bring in a MLB that could stay with the halfback longer.That’s not putting anybody down, that’s just common sense. The QB was big and had his ankle wrapped. Why couldn’t we get him? He wasn’t going to beat us with a long run. The tightend was a mismatch and Joey called that one before the game but hitting him more at the line and being more physical with him down the field might of helped. On offense, you could see Taylor getting frustrated because the play calling was coming in so slow. That’s not what they practiced all camp. That fast, up tempo offense starts to get a rhthym to it and when you slow it down it loses its effectiveness. I wasn’t a big fan of that offense but it worked well at break neck speed and using those short passes. I don’t think UCLA ever stopped it unless we made mistakes. Hey, UCLA was a good team with good players and good coaching and it’s nothing to be ashamed of to lose that game. But it was totally winnable.

  13. MikeG says:

    Here is an example…I like WIll Compton, he KNOWS what to do, but is short on the athleticism to do it. So do you play him or play someone who may not have the scheme down totally but is faster and more athletic? When a running back needs to be covered out of the backfield and its the LB’s job to do so. If Compton cant keep up, he will never make the play. But if a less experienced but more talented player can keep up, he at least has a chance at making the play.

  14. MikeG says:

    Beck is a horrible coach. He needs to realize that we would do better (especially considering a struggling defense) with long sustained drives that keep these mobile QB’s off the field. Beck is intent on trying to get into shootouts when our defense is struggling.

    People keep saying the days of Old Nebraska are gone. Why, because the triple option is dead? BOLONEY, look at GT, or Air Force. Air Force damn near beat MIchigan because they pounded away at them by doing what they do best, triple-option. A little better defense and Michigan would have lost to them. Why would Becks plan be to go “Up-Tempo” and try to score quickly when we have very talented runners and we are playing against quick strike teams like Michigan. The best way to beat a team like that is to keep their offense off the field. Pound the ball, milk the clock.

    1. Ginger says:

      YOU ARE SO RIGHT…. what truely is interesting these coaches are sitting in a box looking down on the field WHY can’t they see what the heck is going on. Are they so bent on their scheme that they can’t see what is happening right in front of them. Coaching is an art just because you know the game doesn’t mean you can coach and I feel it is beginning to show in several areas.